Hubby and I went through Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University about a year and a half ago. We loved it. (Well, I love it, every time I can convince myself to not be upset that we didn't learn that stuff right when we got married. We could have been completely out of debt, if we had just lived a little simpler and put my entire paycheck toward our school loans when I was working. It only would have taken about a year and a half. Now I'm not working and it's going to take us considerably longer to pay off that debt. My husband always reminds me that at least we learned it now rather than when we're 50 or something. That doesn't always bring me comfort.) Fantastic principles. And a good dose of peace of mind, as it gives the tools to at least know what the heck is going on with your finances. I say all of this as if at least one of you has never heard of it. I'm sure most of you have.
Anyway, in the course, Dave identifies financial management styles as Spender vs. Saver and Nerd vs. Free Spirit. You know how it goes: the spender likes to spend while the saver would rather save (duh) and the nerd loves the budgeting and management while the free spirit would rather not pay attention to those pesky details. I think he mentioned that within couples there is often one who is a spender and one who is a saver, as well as one who is the nerd while the other is the free spirit. It was a little hard to apply those labels to myself and my husband, since we're both pretty frugal, but I've finally done it, with confirmation.
My husband is the Free Spirit/Saver. He would be most content to never spend any money. And since he doesn't like spending money, he definitely doesn't like paying attention to spending-money-type details. He would rather just earn money, put it in the bank, and never think about it again. There it would just pile up, and he wouldn't have to worry about it, because the pile would always be there, just growing.
And I am most definitely the Nerd/Spender. I don't want to just blindly fritter away money on whatever whim tickles my fancy at the moment. But I want to know what is there and how we can best arrange it so that we can spend it, both on what we need and maybe, just maybe, what we want someday. Like a real vacation or something.
This week my role was completely validated. I joined Mint.com. My sister-in-law's husband told me about it several years ago. YEARS. It's not like I didn't believe him or anything, but I just never looked into that. For that I'm sad, and for that I'm sorry. I will always look into whatever he tells me to from now on. The tools there are A M A Z I N G. I'm here to give an unpaid, unsolicited endorsement. All our accounts on one screen. My budget, guided by Dave Ramsey, put into an easy, manageable program that updates itself like magic according to the activity in our accounts. I check it at least twice a day, which is a little excessive. I'm sure that soon I'll be able to just check it once every few days. But for now, I just sit and gaze at the wonder on my screen.
My point is, even if you are not a nerd, or maybe especially if you are not a nerd, you should check it out. It's like Financial Management for Dummies. Or Nerd Heaven. Whichever suits your fancy.